S&P outlook for Old Republic returns to stable
Standard & Poor's raised its outlook for mortgage insurer Old Republic International Corp. (ORI) to stable from negative after noting the firm's divisions are likely to maintain solid growth amid difficult market conditions. "Although ORG has suffered from the soft pricing cycle and recessionary environment, its performance has improved significantly through the first half of 2011," according to S&P credit analyst Ron Joas. "Losses from the consumer credit indemnity business have fallen" since the year-ago second quarter. S&P rates Old Republic International Corp., at BBB+. In early August, S&P downgraded ratings for two Old Republic subsidiaries to B+ from BB+. Analysts said the insurer's improved loss ratio and expense management initiatives will let the company "make significant progress toward returning to its historical level of operating performance, with returns on revenue greater than 13% and progressing toward 15% in 2012." Write to Kerri Panchuk.